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S&Ds: we won the first battle on CBAM and ETS to ensure the EU meets Fit for 55 climate goals


18 May 2022


Climate & Environment

Today, it’s an important day for our common effort to address the climate crisis and put us on the right path to make Europe the first carbon neutral continent by 2050 at the latest. Today, the environment committee has voted on crucial files that represent the tools that will put our 2030 climate goal into practice. Among the most important ones are: the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), and the reform of the Emissions Trading System (ETS). The positive outcome today must be now validated in a vote in plenary in June in order to consolidate the EU Parliament’s ambitious position to defend in the interinstitutional negotiations with the EU Council.

S&D vice-president and rapporteur for CBAM, Mohammed Chahim, said:

“It doesn’t matter where they produce, who pollutes must pay. This is the simple but powerful principle that has inspired the hard work on the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), which the environment committee has just approved. We took an important step that shows the European Parliament wants an ambitious and future-proof CBAM.

“CBAM is in fact one of the few mechanisms the EU can rely on to incentivise our trading partners to decarbonise their manufacturing industry globally. This is going to be a crucial pillar of the European climate policies that will also prevent distortive unfair competition among EU and Non-EU industries.

“We all live on one planet. If you pollute, no matter where you emit, you will have to pay for your pollution at the border to enter the European market. This is a race, a race to decarbonise and go globally green.

“The vote today brings some important improvements to the starting proposal of the Commission; a great step in the right direction. Next stop, the vote in plenary. We’ll fight to make the CBAM, and the Fit for 55 package, live up to citizens’ expectations.”

S&D shadow rapporteur for ETS, Jytte Guteland, explained:

“The battle is not yet over, but it is certainly one crucial step forward to meet the goals set by the Fit for 55 package. We are proud that, thanks to our Group, the environment committee today took a clear stance for climate by voting in favour of the Emissions Trading System revision. All our priorities have been adopted: increased climate ambitions, secured fairness to industry and improved social inclusion and a just transition.

“This compromise effectively targets the surplus of allowances and free allocations that have diluted the ETS system for so many years. We also managed to achieve strong social safeguards to make the ETS socially inclusive for households, while the signal to industry is clear: it is now time to decarbonise!                                                               

“The battle moves on to the plenary where we will make sure that the European Parliament endorses all the important measures taken today needed to meet the Fit for 55 goals.”

S&D coordinator in the environment committee, Tiemo Wölken, added:

“The ETS is the only way we can reward pioneering companies and give laggards a leg up. Together with our successful push for a comprehensive Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism, we Socialists and Democrats are the driving force to make the industrial just transition happen, while EPP wants to maintain the status quo.

“Unfortunately, emissions in transport and buildings have not declined in recent decades. However, we must not set incentives primarily through price. That would mean forcing people on low incomes to do without heating or mobility.

“We are therefore pleased that we S&Ds have managed to ensure that emissions trading in transport and buildings will initially apply only to companies, and that prices will be cushioned. The EPP rapporteur’s original draft would have meant forcing social division in the EU, in the middle of an energy crisis.”




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